Am I the only mother who is aghast at parents who live vicariously in their kids “achievements” when they put their child’s life at risk?

The latest was the 13 year old who climbed Mt. Everest:

“It’s something I’ve always wanted to do before I die – I just happen to be doing it at this age. I happen to be going for a world record. But I just want to climb it,” Jordan told the AFP news agency ahead of his Everest attempt.

Luckily, he did not die; the dirty little secret is that ten percent of those who climb Mt. Everest die, often on the way down, when they are fatigued and make a minor error.

His mother shrugged at those concerned about her boy’s safety, saying he was with his father. So that makes it safe? And what about the three Sherpas who accompanied them? Nah, no glory for them, just making a living so their families can eat.

This kid is trying to do the “scale all the highest mountains of the world” goal at the youngest age in order for his parents to revel in his “glory”.

Other publicity stunts include several teens who “sailed around the world solo”; luckily the Dutch government intervened in the case of one 14 year old girl whose trip was promoted by her father (mom objected, but they were divorced). When stopped, she promptly “ran away from home” (using whose money for a plane ticket?)

Sailing Magazine sardonically writes about these kids and other such stunts:

Loonies looking to get into Guinness World Records by sailing a 5-foot dinghy across the Atlantic or windsurfing across the Pacific or jet-skiing around Cape Horn espouse lofty ideals of freedom and challenge and courage. In the end, however, they’re looking for a fast buck from a book or a few moments on “Good Morning America.” If they survive.

So when you hear about such stunts, one has to ask: where are the parents?

Why do they not only encourage their child to put his life in danger, but pay the bill? These are expensive trips. The excuse is that the kid “wants to do” this, but kids “want” to do a lot of things, and we don’t let them do them.

Finally,  if they get into trouble, who is paying the bill of those who risk their lives to rescue the foolhardy kid?

One reason that it is so dangerous is that young teenagers have no concept of dying. That is why young teens are often recruited as child soldiers or suicide bombers.

One of these days one of these kids is going to die, and then what good will headlines do?

Oh, that already has happened...

Jessica Whitney Dubroff (May 5, 1988 – April 11, 1996) was a 7-year-old pilot trainee who was attempting to become the youngest person to fly an airplane across the United States when, 24 hours into her attempt, her general aviation aircraft crashed after takeoff from Cheyenne Regional Airport in Cheyenne, Wyoming.[1]…

The National Transportation Safety Board investigation concluded that the accident was caused by Reid’s “improper decision to take off into deteriorating weather conditions….contributing to the pilot in command’s decision to take off was a desire to adhere to an overly ambitious itinerary, in part, because of media commitments.”

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